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ranked among the worst in the nation, even though the district was spending more per pupil than large u.s. cities, almost $13,000 per student. but in 2009, washington, d.c. became first in the nation to tie teacher salaries to student test scores under a program called "impact." teachers rated highly effective can get annual bonuses up to $25,000 if they stay at that achievement level for two straight years, they can also get a base salary increase of $20,000. a highly effective teacher can earn $76,000, the first year, and reach $131,000 in just nine years. less effective teachers earn 51,000 to start and are fired if they get poor involveses for two straight years. this year, 98 teachers were fired for poor performance. but nathan saunders, president of the washington teachers union, says the system is unfair to teachers when many of their student have barriers to learning, such as poverty. >> the penalties are so immediate and so painful, not just immediate in terms of their paycheck, but also immediate in terms of their careers. >> reporter: in washington, test scores are still amon
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